Sportsfile’s Stephen McCarthy claims Grand Prize in PDN magazine contest


Stephen McCarthy claims the Grand Prize Professional Winner title in the PDN ‘The Shot’ Photography contest 2014.

Photo District News (PDN), is an award-winning monthly magazine for professional photographers, and has been covering the professional photographic industry for over two decades.

The esteemed judges for this contest were Brad Smith, Director of Photography at Sports Illustrated; Chris Stackhouse, Art Director at the NFL; Amy Silverman, Photo Editor at Outside and Chelsea Pomales, Photography Director at the SPORT DIVER magazine – and Stephen’s 2012 picture from Leinster’s away clash against Glasgow Warriors in the Celtic League made the cut.

Stephen has covered Leinster rugby extensively since he joined Sportsfile in 2007 and Sportsfile are the official photographers to Leinster Rugby.

He travelled to Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow in November ’12, for what turned out to be a dour and a hard slog for both sides, with two Ian Madigan penalties earning Leinster a 0-6 win.

Stephen recalls the game which he captured ‘The Shot’

I remember the game very well, and probably more so for the wrong reasons. I had a few frames in the first half that were half decent and got them wired. Leinster were leading 0-3 at the break. Not a bad half in terms of pictures.

But everything went downhill in the second half. The skies opened up at half-time and the rain was torrential for the rest of the game.

Leinster crossed the half way line twice I reckon. They earned a penalty with one of those attacks, and Ian Madigan kicked for the posts, so again there was little by way of action to capture.

It was the lowest scoring game of rugby I was ever at. The second half was really poor for action. I was really struggling, until I noticed a scrum was awarded just inside the Leinster half.

In Scotstoun the light is quite patchy and there is a huge fall off from the middle of the pitch to the sides, which gives nice clean black backgrounds. The floodlights were lighting up the heavy rain that was falling on the scrum, and as soon as the ball was thrown in I knew I had something really nice. Suddenly I had forgotten about the rain, lack of pictures and poor game. I had ‘The Shot’!